Frequent customers of the Queensland based Sizzler restaurant in the suburb of Booval will be interested to note that it is currently under investigation following a suspected outbreak of food poisoning.
The revelation came after a number of the restaurant’s customers became sick after they ate at the popular buffet restaurant in late February this year.
According to an article on the popular Food Safety Website, Foodsafety.com.au lab tests are currently underway to determine the cause of the outbreak.
According to a public health physician Dr Kari Jarvinen, samples were gathered from customers and staff members of the restaurant and tests are currently underway to try and determine the cause of the outbreak and whether the restaurant is really to blame – it could be a supplier or some other source to blame for the outbreak.
One of the restaurants customers, Kellie Roussounis-Adams who dined at the restaurant with her family was one of those who fell ill after eating at the restaurant. She like her other family members were struck with gastroenteritis. She learned through social media that others who had dined at the restaurant also became ill. The restaurant refunded her the price of her meals when she informed them of her and her family’s illness. She stated:
“The following day my entire family was sick, including my two children,” she told The Queensland Times. “My husband, who works as a concreter, was forced to take a day off work.”
But how exactly is Gastroenteritis a Threat to Food Businesses?
To be fair gastroenteritis can be spread just about anywhere through infected people and isn’t only spread through restaurant food but this is a common cause, especially buffet style restaurants. At a buffet if another customer who has the sickness comes into contact with a food item or utensil such as a knife or fork, they can spread the sickness.
According to one doctor who was consulted on this particular outbreak, there was a particularly highly contagious gastric virus in the Ipswich community so it was probable that an infected person could have entered the restaurant and contaminated it without even realising they did so.
In adults there are 2 main types of Gastroenteritis which are common, namely Viral Gastroenteritis caused by viral infections of the digestive tract and bacterial gastro which is caused by Salmonella, shigella, Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli or some other type of bacteria. Gastroenteritis often referred to as a stomach flu or gastric flu can be extremely painful.
Most people suffer after eating contaminated food and food handlers play an important role in ensuring that food is not contaminated before it reaches customers.
The viruses are very contagious, and usually spread from one person to another on unwashed hands, or by close contact with an infected person, such as sharing food or eating utensils. Infected food handlers who don’t follow proper sanitary procedures often spread viral gastroenteritis in meals served in restaurants, although we aren’t sure whether this was the case in the Sizzler incident.
Sometimes referred to as Restaurant Gastroenteritis, gastroenteritis spread through restaurants is a serious concern to communities. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, watery diarrhoea and fever, and within certain sectors of the population it can be deadly.
According to health officials frequent hand-washing is the best way to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis especially in restaurants and take-aways.
It is also important that staff of food outlets, whether they prepare food, handle it or just work in the restaurant should understand how to safely handle food so that they do not present a threat to the community they service. In order to accomplish this they must undergo the appropriate training.
The Food Handlers Certificate is a restaurant’s first line of defence against food contaminations and potentially deadly foodborne outbreaks. It teaches anyone handling food in a restaurant, take away, food business or preparing food for a living (such as cooks at old age homes) the importance of proper food handling and the correct food handling hygiene and safety procedures.
There are both accredited and non-accredited courses to choose from, providing learners with the freedom to choose the option that’s best for them.
The accredited course is recognised throughout Oz and is best for those who are directly involved with food preparation or whose actions have a direct impact on food safety such as cooks, chefs, kitchen hands, catering staff etc.
Also because the course can be completed online, anywhere, at any time of the night or day, it is convenient and can be completed with minimal hassle and effort.
To learn more about the options available to you or to sign up now, visit our homepage today!